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COSMIC 

COMMUNIST 

CONSTRUCTIONS 

PHPTOGRAPHED 

FREDERIC CHAUBIN 

11 APRIL-17 MAY 2008 • WED-FRI 3PM-8PM SAT-SUN 1PM-8PM 
POP UP STOREFRONT • LOS ANGELES 


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From: andrei vovk <andreivovk@usa.net> 
Date: Mar 28, 2007 12:30 PM 
Subject: HI 

To: storefront <info@storefrontnews.org> 


HI 

GOT YOUR MAIL 
LET ME THINK 
IN MOSCOW 

UP UNTIL THE END OF SOVIET UNION 

ARCHITECTURE WAS DONE IN HUGE STATE/CITY CONTROLLED OFFICES 
MOSPROEKT 1, 

MOSPROEKT 2,3,4 

LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF ARCHITECTS 

WORKING IN OFFICES ON 

MAYAKOVSKAYA METRO STATION 

VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER 

ALMOST ALL PROJECT HAD TO BE REVIEWED BY 

CITY PLANNING COMISSION 

HERE YOU GO - STATE CONTROL 

MOSCOW MAYOR HAD A POWER 

NOW -1 DON’T KNOW IF THE SITUATION CHANGED 

CORRUPTION IS VERY HEAVY THOUGH 

THERE WAS NO CORRUPTION BEFORE 

THERE WERE NAMES 

HIGHLY RESPECTED BY BOTH CITY PLANNING AND MAYOR 
THESE NAMES USUALLY HAD GREEN LIGHT FROM THE START 
LOOK FOR 

ANDREI MEERSON (MOSPROEKT 1) 

POKROVSKII, POL’ANSKII 

OTHER HEADS OF STUDIOS 

THEY WERE QUITE GOOD ARCHITECTS 

AND THEY DID BUILD LOTS OF VERY STRONG BUILDINGS 

I DON’T THINK THEY NEEDED ANY CONNECTIONS WITH THE WEST 

THEY WERE OLD SCHOOL HIGHLY EDUCATED AND VERY TALENTED PEOPLE 

ON THEIR OWN 

LOOK AT THE MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE 

IT’S ECOLE DE BEAUX ARTS TYPE OF SCHOOL 

AND STUDENTS WERE EXPOSED TO ARTS HISTORY THEORY 

ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE 

ALSO 

WEST AT THAT TIME - POSTMODERNISM AT ITS WORST? 

VENTURI, BAD BOB STERN, HALF-COOKED NOUVEL- 
WHAT GOOD COULD IT POSSIBLY DO? 

I’M VERY SCEPTICAL OF WESTERN 70-S 

DECONSTRUCTIVISM CAME AT THE END OF SOVIET UNION AND TOO - 
FROM MY SCHOOL I KNEW NAMES AND WORKS OF 
F.L. WRIGHT, CORBU, MIES... 

IT’S TRUE ARCHITECTURE D’AUJOURDHUI WAS PUBLISHED IN RUSSIAN 
- IT WAS A BLACK’N'WHITE COPY, NOTHING REALLY INTERESTING 
DON’T THINK IT OPENED OUR EYES ON ANYTHING WE DIDN’T KNOW 
ON OUR OWN BY THEN 

REMEMBER - RUSSIA SENT ITS SPACESHIPS ON ITS OWN 
WITHOUT TRANSLATED FRENCH MAGAZINES 
! 



Storefront forArtw? 
and Architecture^ Ufy 

7176 SUNSET BLVD LOS ANGELES CA 90046 \ 

www. storefrontnews. org 


"Druzhba”, (Yalta, Ukraine, 1985). Architect Igor Vasilevsky 
Photograph © Frederic Chaubin 


^ • 


OSMIC 

OMMUNIST 

INSTRUCTIONS 

HOTOGRAPHED 



11 APRIL -17 MAY 2008 • WED- FRI3PM-8AM SAT-SON1PM-8PM 


Sponsored by 

American Apparel 


Local partners: 

ForYourArt and Los Angeles Forum for Achitecture and Urban Design 





































Cosmic Communism 

Frederic Chaubin 


The ex-Soviet republics are home 
to a number of monumental ar¬ 
chitectural artifacts - the utopian 
manifestation of a fading empire 

Arriving in New York for the 
first time induces a sense of deja- 
vu, as if one had just walked onto 
the set of a movie seen a hundred 
times before. Certain outlying re¬ 
gions of the ex-USSR, on the other 
hand, give one the distinct impres¬ 
sion of walking the sets of movies 
that never were. Outlandish decors 
that range from sober audacity to 
sheer madness; buildings, set in the 
middle of nowhere, out of context 
and beyond all norms, that boldly 
throw all architectural conventions 
and rules to the wind. Orphaned 
monuments, scattered across planet 
collectivism. 

What exactly characterizes them? 
They are above all aesthetic anom¬ 
alies in an ocean of gray. Soviet 
architecture is primarily famous 
for its monotony, for its stereo¬ 
typed productions that reproduces 
the same forms for the same urban 
models with the same economy of 
materials at phenomenal distances 
from one another. But this is some¬ 
thing else! This is singularity! 

Their second distinguishing fea¬ 
ture is that these buildings were 
built in the years stretching from the 
end of the Brezhnev era to the dis¬ 
solution of the USSR itself. In other 


words, a period of not much more 
than ten years. A time of opening. 
As the ailing empire crumbled, its 
nets were still spread, but their hold 
had slackened. And, as their mesh 
loosened, vast expanses of creative 
freedom opened up for some. One 
hypothesis is that the inertia of the 
Soviet machine, too busy trying to 
stave off its own demise, left the 
construction sites it commissioned, 
backed by Gosstroi, the Ministry of 
Housing and Construction, hover¬ 
ing on its peripheries. Which would 
explain why these specimens 
sprung up precisely on the margins 
- on the Polish border, in the Cau¬ 
casus, or on the shores of the Black 
Sea. 

Conversely, another hypothesis 
is that, rather than being forgot¬ 
ten, these anomalous artifacts were 
encouraged, and even actively 
commissioned. After Brezhnev 
and nearly twenty years’ torpor, 
Andropov’s Russia had grown 
bolder. There was an urgent need 
to improve the image of a country 
scarred by several decades of archi¬ 
tectural cloning. The post-Second 
World War reconstruction programs 
had bom few frills: rationalism and 
productivity had taken precedent 
over decorative concerns. The So¬ 
viet post-war years were charac¬ 
terized by their austerity. The vast 
proletarian paradise now heaved 
with forests of concrete housing 
blocks, known as khrushchevka. 


Yet, whilst the Soviet Union could 
be capable of the worst, it could 
also be capable of the best. Con¬ 
forming to the lowest common de¬ 
nominator went hand-in-hand with 
the boldest of avant-gardes. For a 
brief moment in the Sixties, young 
architects caught the public eye 
with a purely utopian form of pro¬ 
duction which, although it never 
made it off the drawing board, did 
earn them a solid international rep¬ 
utation. Others, known as the “pa¬ 
per architects”, emerged again in 
the early Eighties, displaying the 
same unbridled fantasies. They re¬ 
vived a tradition dating back to the 
turn of the twentieth century: that 
of the Russian artist-revolutionar¬ 
ies, who were determined to use 
aesthetics to change the world; a 
radical departure from convention 
which may not have got beyond 
the embryonic stage, but which did 
give luster to the nascent USSR’s 
image. The newcomers, however, 
no longer rallied beneath the col¬ 
lectivist banner to laud the onward 
march of progress; communism no 
longer needed to be constructed. 
They militated for the individual 
to be taken into account. Their cre¬ 
ative exuberance was an implicit 
criticism of Soviet inertia; their 
projects - drawings in the vein of 
Escher or de Chirico - an attempt 
to bypass a dismal reality. 

It is precisely this same crypto¬ 
pop, almost psychedelic aesthetic 


that crept into leisure architecture, 
however, and can be found in some 
of the most spectacular projects 
carried out at the time. As if the 
authorities, in tune with the world 
and its changes, were at last will¬ 
ing to concede the right to fantasy. 
Which brings us back to the second 
hypothesis. The regime had loos¬ 
ened up. It encouraged diversity. 
Perestroika even invited architects 
to take regional specificities into 
account. Even though they would 
never have admitted it, architects in 
the USSR were under the influence 
of the forms dreamt up in the West 
and were busy reinterpreting them, 
albeit in a different loop, with a ten¬ 
or twenty-year delay. Soviet aes¬ 
thetics has always trod the fine line 
of hybridization. It is a segment of 
the modem era that has flourished 
in a vacuum for seventy years, pro¬ 
ducing its own formal register, its 
own range of colors. Yet, the West 
has remained the fantasy, the un¬ 
spoken taboo engendering its deriv¬ 
atives, and these intersecting paths 
provoke an uncanny sensation of 
familiarity in us. 

It remains to be seen which hy¬ 
pothesis is ultimately validated. In 
any case, these buildings were de¬ 
signed on the cusp of two eras, and 
their monumental sci-fi futurism 
constitutes one of the ex-USSR’s 
most bewildering forms of expres¬ 
sion. Bewildering like a distorting 
mirror. 




Gallery Hours 

Wed - Fri 3:00PM - 8:00PM Sat - Sun 1:00PM- 8:00PM 
Closed Monday and Tuesday. 

Gallery Location 

Paperchase Printing 7176 Sunset Blvd, (2 blocks west 
of La Brea, comer of Formosa) 


Since 1982 Storefront has pre¬ 
sented the work of more than a 
thousand architects and artists who 
challenge conventional perceptions 
of space, from aesthetic experi¬ 
ments to explorations of the con¬ 
ceptual, social and political forces 
that shape the built environment. 
Storefront creates an open forum 
to help architects and artists real¬ 
ize work and present it to a diverse 
audience in a program that includes 
an exhibition, film, publication and 
conversation series. 

In 1993, Storefront commissioned 
a collaborative building project by 
artist Vito Acconci and architect 
Steven Holl. The project replaced 
the existing facade with a series of 
twelve panels that pivot vertically or 
horizontally to open the entire length 
of the gallery directly onto the street. 
The project blurs the boundary be¬ 
tween interior and exterior and, by 
placing the panels in different don- 
figurations, creates a multitude of 
different possible facades. 

Director 
Joseph Grima 
Curator 

Yasmeen M. Siddiqui 
Producer 
Pemilla Ohrstedt 
Development 
Susanna Bohlke 
Web Master 
Angie Waller 
Interns 

Lucas Blalock , Stephen Parra, 

Jose Manuel Esparza, Lane Rick, 
Ki Smith 


Board of Directors 
Peter Guggenhiemer (President), 
Carlos Brillembourg, Madelyn 
Burke-Vigeland, Beatriz 
Colomina, Belmont Freeman, 
Susan Hakkarainen, Lauren 
Kogod, Laura Kurgan, Michael 
Manfredi, William Menking, Linda 
Poliak, Lindy Roy, Artur Walther 

Board of Advisors 
Kyong Park (Founder), Kent 
Barwick, Peter Cook, Chris 
Dercon, Elizabeth Diller, Vito 
Acconci, Claudia Gould, Dan 
Graham, Richard Haas, Brooke 
Hodge, Steven Holl, Steven 
Johnson, Toyo Ito, Mary Jane 
Jacob, Mary Miss, Shirin Neshat, 
Lucio Pozzi, Frederieke Taylor, 
James Wines, Stefano Boeri, 

Hans Ulrich Obrist 

Storefront’s programs are made 
possible with support from the New 
York State Council for the Arts, a 
state agency, and New York City 
Department for Cultural Affairs, 
Citizens for NYC, the Stephen A. 
and Diana L. Goldberg Foundation, 
the Andy Warhol Foundation for 
the Visual Arts, LMCC and the Lily 
Auchincloss Foundation. Support 
is also provided by Storefront’s 
Board of Directors, members and 
individuals. 

For more information about up¬ 
coming programs and supporting 
Storefront, please visit our website 

at www.storefrontnews.org or call 
+1 212 431 5795 














Over the past five years, dur¬ 
ing the course of his travels in 
the former Soviet Union, French 
photographer Frederic Chaubin 
has documented an extensive 
collection of startling architec¬ 
tural artifacts bom during the 
last two decades of the Cold 
War. A number of architects in 
the peripheral regions of the 
Eastern Bloc countries, work¬ 
ing on governmental commis¬ 
sions during the ‘70s and ‘80s, 
enjoyed a surprising degree of 
creative freedom. Operating in a 
cultural context to a large extent 
hermetically sealed from the in¬ 
fluence of their Western counter¬ 
parts, they drew inspiration from 
sources ranging from expres¬ 
sionism, science fiction, early 
European modernism and the 
Russian Suprematist legacy to 
produce an idiosyncratic, flam¬ 
boyant and often imaginative ar¬ 
chitectural menage. Unexpected 
in their contexts, these monu¬ 
mental buildings stand in stark 
contrast to the stereotypical un¬ 
derstanding of late Soviet archi¬ 
tecture in which monotonously 
repetitive urban landscapes were 
punctuated by vulgar exercises 
in architectural propaganda. 

The subjects of Chaubin’s pho¬ 


tographs, scattered throughout 
Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, 
Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and 
Russia, were all constructed dur¬ 
ing the last two decades of the 
Soviet era. Very few of their de¬ 
signers achieved anything more 
than local recognition, and until 
now these buildings have never 
been collectively documented 
or exhibited. The authors of 
many works remain unknown, 
and several have been destroyed 
since Chaubin’s photographs 
were taken. Concieved and ex¬ 
ecuted during a moment of his¬ 
torical transition, they constitute 
one of the most surprising and 
least known legacies of the for¬ 
mer USSR. 

As well as presenting the archi¬ 
tecture itself, CCCP: Cosmic 
Communist Constructions Pho¬ 
tographed traces the intellectual 
and political undercurrents that 
act as a backdrop, and at times 
inspiration, for the work of these 
Soviet architects. The exhibi¬ 
tion, a compendium of photo¬ 
graphs, drawings, magazine ar¬ 
ticles and historical timelines, 
maps out the complex geneal¬ 
ogy of this overlooked but com¬ 
pelling chapter in the history of 
20th century design. 







COSMIC 

COMMUNIST 

CONSTRUCTIONS 

PHOTOGRAPHED 

FRlDfRIC CHAURIN 

24 APRIL-26 MAY 2007 • TUESOAY-SATURDAY 11AM 6PM 
STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE * NEW YORK 





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From: andrei vovk <andreivovk@usa.net> 
Date: Mar 28, 2007 12:30 PM 
Subject: HI 

To: storefront <info@storefrontnews.org> 


HI 

GOT YOUR MAIL 
LET ME THINK 
IN MOSCOW 

UP UNTIL THE END OF SOVIET UNION 

ARCHITECTURE WAS DONE IN HUGE STATE/CITY CONTROLLED OFFICES 
MOSPROEKT 1, 

MOSPROEKT 2,3,4 

LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF ARCHITECTS 

WORKING IN OFFICES ON 

MAYAKOVSKAYA METRO STATION 

VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER 

ALMOST ALL PROJECT HAD TO BE REVIEWED BY 

CITY PLANNING COMISSION 

HERE YOU GO - STATE CONTROL 

MOSCOW MAYOR HAD A POWER 

NOW - I DON’T KNOW IF THE SITUATION CHANGED 

CORRUPTION IS VERY HEAVY THOUGH 

THERE WAS NO CORRUPTION BEFORE 

THERE WERE NAMES 

HIGHLY RESPECTED BY BOTH CITY PLANNING AND MAYOR 
THESE NAMES USUALLY HAD GREEN LIGHT FROM THE START 
LOOK FOR 

ANDREI MEERSON (MOSPROEKT 1) 

POKROVSKII, POL’ANSKII 

OTHER HEADS OF STUDIOS 

THEY WERE QUITE GOOD ARCHITECTS 

AND THEY DID BUILD LOTS OF VERY STRONG BUILDINGS 

I DON’T THINK THEY NEEDED ANY CONNECTIONS WITH THE WEST 

THEY WERE OLD SCHOOL HIGHLY EDUCATED AND VERY TALENTED PEOPLE 

ON THEIR OWN 

LOOK AT THE MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE 

IT’S ECOLE DE BEAUX ARTS TYPE OF SCHOOL 

AND STUDENTS WERE EXPOSED TO ARTS HISTORY THEORY 

ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE 

ALSO 

WEST AT THAT TIME - POSTMODERNISM AT ITS WORST? 

VENTURI, BOB STERN, HALF-COOKED NOUVEL- 
WHAT GOOD COULD IT POSSIBLY DO? 

I’M VERY SCEPTICAL OF WESTERN 70-S 

DECONSTRUCTIVISM CAME AT THE END OF SOVIET UNION AND TOO - 
FROM MY SCHOOL I KNEW NAMES AND WORKS OF 
F.L. WRIGHT,CORBU,MIES... 

IT’S TRUE ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURDHUI WAS PUBLISHED IN RUSSIAN 
- IT WAS A BLACK’N’WHITE COPY, NOTHING REALLY INTERESTING 
DON’T THINK IT OPENED OUR EYES ON ANYTHING WE DIDN’T KNOW 
ON OUR OWN BY THEN 

REMEMBER - RUSSIA SENT ITS SPACESHIPS ON ITS OWN 
WITHOUT TRANSLATED FRENCH MAGAZINES 
! 



Storefront for Art 
and Architecture 

97 KENMARE STREET NEW YORK NY 10012 TEL 212431 5795 

www.storefrontnews.org 


Roads Ministry, Tbilisi, Georgia (completed in 1975). Architect G. Chava 

Photograph © Frederic Chaubin 



































Cosmic Communism 

Frederic Chaubin 


The ex-Soviet republics are home 
to a number of monumental ar¬ 
chitectural artifacts - the utopian 
manifestation of a fading empire 

Arriving in New York for the 
first time induces a sense of dej&- 
vu, as if one had just walked onto 
the set of a movie seen a hundred 
times before. Certain outlying re¬ 
gions of the ex-USSR, on the other 
hand, give one the distinct impres¬ 
sion of walking the sets of movies 
that never were. Outlandish decors 
that range from sober audacity to 
sheer madness; buildings, set in the 
middle of nowhere, out of context 
and beyond all norms, that boldly 
throw all architectural conventions 
and rules to the wind. Orphaned 
monuments, scattered across planet 
collectivism. 

What exactly characterizes them? 
They are above all aesthetic anom¬ 
alies in an ocean of gray. Soviet 
architecture is primarily famous 
for its monotony, for its stereo¬ 
typed productions that reproduces 
the same forms for the same urban 
models with the same economy of 
materials at phenomenal distances 
from one another. But this is some¬ 
thing else! This is singularity! 

Their second distinguishing fea¬ 
ture is that these buildings were 
built in the years stretching from the 
end of the Brezhnev era to the dis¬ 
solution of the USSR itself. In other 


words, a period of not much more 
than ten years. A time of opening. 
As the ailing empire crumbled, its 
nets were still spread, but their hold 
had slackened. And, as their mesh 
loosened, vast expanses of creative 
freedom opened up for some. One 
hypothesis is that the inertia of the 
Soviet machine, too busy trying to 
stave off its own demise, left the 
construction sites it commissioned, 
backed by Gosstroi, the Ministry of 
Housing and Construction, hover¬ 
ing on its peripheries. Which would 
explain why these specimens 
sprung up precisely on the margins 
- on the Polish border, in the Cau¬ 
casus, or on the shores of the Black 
Sea. 

Conversely, another hypothesis 
is that, rather than being forgot¬ 
ten, these anomalous artifacts were 
encouraged, and even actively 
commissioned. After Brezhnev 
and nearly twenty years’ torpor, 
Andropov’s Russia had grown 
bolder. There was an urgent need 
to improve the image of a country 
scarred by several decades of archi¬ 
tectural cloning. The post-Second 
World War reconstruction programs 
had bom few frills: rationalism and 
productivity had taken precedent 
over decorative concerns. The So¬ 
viet post-war years were charac¬ 
terized by their austerity. The vast 
proletarian paradise now heaved 
with forests of concrete housing 
blocks, known as khrushchevka. 


Yet, whilst the Soviet Union could 
be capable of the worst, it could 
also be capable of the best. Con¬ 
forming to the lowest common de¬ 
nominator went hand-in-hand with 
the boldest of avant-gardes. For a 
brief moment in the Sixties, young 
architects caught the public eye 
with a purely utopian form of pro¬ 
duction which, although it never 
made it off the drawing board, did 
earn them a solid international rep¬ 
utation. Others, known as the “pa¬ 
per architects”, emerged again in 
the early Eighties, displaying the 
same unbridled fantasies. They re¬ 
vived a tradition dating back to the 
turn of the twentieth century: that 
of the Russian artist-revolutionar¬ 
ies, who were determined to use 
aesthetics to change the world; a 
radical departure from convention 
which may not have got beyond 
the embryonic stage, but which did 
give luster to the nascent USSR’s 
image. The newcomers, however, 
no longer rallied beneath the col¬ 
lectivist banner to laud the onward 
march of progress; communism no 
longer needed to be constructed. 
They militated for the individual 
to be taken into account. Their cre¬ 
ative exuberance was an implicit 
criticism of Soviet inertia; their 
projects - drawings in the vein of 
Escher or de Chirico - an attempt 
to bypass a dismal reality. 

It is precisely this same crypto¬ 
pop, almost psychedelic aesthetic 


that crept into leisure architecture, 
however, and can be found in some 
of the most spectacular projects 
carried out at the time. As if the 
authorities, in tune with the world 
and its changes, were at last will¬ 
ing to concede the right to fantasy. 
Which brings us back to the second 
hypothesis. The regime had loos¬ 
ened up. It encouraged diversity. 
Perestroika even invited architects 
to take regional specificities into 
account. Even though they would 
never have admitted it, architects in 
the USSR were under the influence 
of the forms dreamt up in the West 
and were busy reinterpreting them, 
albeit in a different loop, with a ten¬ 
or twenty-year delay. Soviet aes¬ 
thetics has always trod the fine line 
of hybridization. It is a segment of 
the modem era that has flourished 
in a vacuum for seventy years, pro¬ 
ducing its own formal register, its 
own range of colors. Yet, the West 
has remained the fantasy, the un¬ 
spoken taboo engendering its deriv¬ 
atives, and these intersecting paths 
provoke an uncanny sensation of 
familiarity in us. 

It remains to be seen which hy¬ 
pothesis is ultimately validated. In 
any case, these buildings were de¬ 
signed on the cusp of two eras, and 
their monumental sci-fi futurism 
constitutes one of the ex-USSR’s 
most bewildering forms of expres¬ 
sion. Bewildering like a distorting 
mirror. 




Gallery Hours 

Tuesday - Saturday 11:00AM - 6:00PM 
Closed Sunday and Monday. 

The gallery is located at 97 Kenmare Street, between 

Mulberry and Lafayette Street 

Trains 

6 to Spring: N/R to Prince; B/D/F/V to 
Broadway Lafayette 


Since 1982 Storefront has pre¬ 
sented the work of more than a 
thousand architects and artists who 
challenge conventional perceptions 
of space, from aesthetic experi¬ 
ments to explorations of the con¬ 
ceptual, social and political forces 
that shape the built environment. 
Storefront creates an open forum 
to help architects and artists real¬ 
ize work and present it to a diverse 
audience in a program that includes 
an exhibition, film, publication and 
conversation series. 

In 1993, Storefront commissioned 
a collaborative building project by 
artist Vito Acconci and architect 
Steven Holl. The project replaced 
the existing facade with a series of 
twelve panels that pivot vertically or 
horizontally to open the entire length 
of the gallery directly onto the street 
The project blurs the boundary be¬ 
tween interior and exterior and, by 
placing the panels in different con¬ 
figurations, creates a multitude of 
different possible facades. 

For more information about upcom¬ 
ing programs and supporting Store¬ 
front, please see our website at 

www.storefrontnews.org or call 
+1 212 431 5795 

Board of Directors 
Belmont Freeman (President), Carlos 
Brillembourg, Madelyn Burke- 
Vigeland, Beatriz Colomina, Peter 
Guggenhiemer, Susan Hakkarainen, 
Laura Kurgan, Michael Manfredi, 
William Menking, Artur Walther 


Board of Advisors 
Kyong Park (Founder), Kent 
Barwick, Peter Cook, Chris 
Dercon, Elizabeth Diller, Claudia 
Gould, Dan Graham, Richard Haas, 
Brooke Hodge, Steven Holl, Steven 
Johnson, Toyo Ito, Mary Jane 
Jacob, Mary Miss, Shirin Neshat, 
Lucio Pozzi, Frederieke Taylor, 
James Wines 

* 

Storefront’s programs are made 
possible with support from the New 
York State Council for the Arts, a 
state agency, and New York City 
Department for Cultural Affairs, 
Citizens for NYC, the Stephen A. 
and Diana L. Goldberg Foundation, 
the Andy Warhol Foundation for 
the Visual Arts, LMCC and the Lily 
Auchincloss Foundation. Support 
is also provided by Storefront’s 
Board of Directors, members and 
individuals. 


Director 

Joseph Grirna 

Curator 

Yasmeen M. Siddiqui 
Curatorial Assistant 
Camilla Lancaster 
Curatorial Assistant 
Jessica Russell 
Web Master 
Angie Waller 
Interns 

Theodora Doulamis, 
Katie Gluckselig 











Over the past five years, dur¬ 
ing the course of his travels in 
the former Soviet Union, French 
photographer Frederic Chaubin 
has documented an extensive 
collection of startling architec¬ 
tural artifacts bom during the 
last two decades of the Cold 
War. A number of architects in 
the peripheral regions of the 
Eastern Bloc countries, work¬ 
ing on governmental commis¬ 
sions during the ‘70s and ‘80s, 
enjoyed a surprising degree of 
creative freedom. Operating in a 
cultural context to a large extent 
hermetically sealed from the in¬ 
fluence of their Western counter¬ 
parts, they drew inspiration from 
sources ranging from expres¬ 
sionism, science fiction, early 
European modernism and the 
Russian Suprematist legacy to 
produce an idiosyncratic, flam¬ 
boyant and often imaginative ar¬ 
chitectural manage. Unexpected 
in their contexts, these monu¬ 
mental buildings stand in stark 
contrast to the stereotypical un¬ 
derstanding of late Soviet archi¬ 
tecture in which monotonously 
repetitive urban landscapes were 
punctuated by vulgar exercises 
in architectural propaganda. 

The subjects of Chaubin’s pho¬ 


tographs, scattered throughout 
Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, 
Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and 
Russia, were all constructed dur¬ 
ing the last two decades of the 
Soviet era. Very few of their de¬ 
signers achieved anything more 
than local recognition, and until 
now these buildings have never 
been collectively documented 
or exhibited. The authors of 
many works remain unknown, 
and several have been destroyed 
since Chaubin’s photographs 
were taken. Concieved and ex¬ 
ecuted during a moment of his¬ 
torical transition, they constitute 
one of the most surprising and 
least known legacies of the for¬ 
mer USSR. 

As well as presenting the archi¬ 
tecture itself, CCCP: Cosmic 
Communist Constructions Pho¬ 
tographed traces the intellectual 
and political undercurrents that 
act as a backdrop, and at times 
inspiration, for the work of these 
Soviet architects. The exhibi¬ 
tion, a compendium of photo¬ 
graphs, drawings, magazine ar¬ 
ticles and historical timelines, 
maps out the complex geneal¬ 
ogy of this overlooked but com¬ 
pelling chapter in the history of 
20th century design. 




Storefront for Art 

and Architecture cccp reader 

97 KENMARE STREET NEW YORK NY 10012 TEL 2124315795 
www.storefronlnms.org 













































































































































































































































Circus. Kazan (Russia) 
Architect: G. Pichuev 
Completed 1967 


© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

® 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 

© 


Private Residence. Lake Sevan (Armenia) 

Architect: F Cherkezian 
Completed 1969? 

House of Soviets. Kaliningrad (Russia) 

Architect: Lev Mispzhnikov 
Designed 1974 

Roads Ministry. Tbilisi (Georgia) 

Architect: G. Chava 
Completed 1975 

Technical School of Janeda State Farm. Janeda (Estonia) 
Architect: Valve Pormeister 
Completed 1975 

Otepaa Cross-country Skiing Resort. Otepaa (Estonia) 

Architect: Unknown 

Date of completion unknown 

Private villa. Palanga (Lithuania) 

Architect: Unknown 
Completed 1979 

Sanitarium. Druskininkai (Lithuania) 

Engineer: Silinskiene 
Completed 1979 

Puppet Theatre. Moscow (Russia) 

Architects: Velikanov/Krasilnikov/Orlov 
Completed 1979 

"Russia” Cinema. Yerevan (Armenia) 

G. Poghosyan/A. Tarkhanyan/S. Khachikyan 
Completed in 1979 

Cycling Race Track. Moscow (Russia) 

Architects: Voronina/Ospennikov 
Completed 1980 

Tallinn Olympic Regatta Center. Pirita (Estonia) 
Architects: Looveer/Sepmanri 
Completed 1980 

Minsk Technological Institute. Minsk (Belarus) 

Architects: V. Anikin, I. Yesman 
Completed 1981 

Zvamots Airport. Yerevan (Armenia) 

Architects: A. Tarkhanyan, S. Khachikyan, L. Cherkezyan, 
J. Shekhlyan. Completed in 1981 

Tbilisi Central Square. Tbilisi (Georgia) 

Architect: Otar Kalandarishvily 
Completed 1983 circa 

Sports Complex and Opera House. Yerevan (Armenia) 
Architects: A. Tarkhanyan/S. Khachikyan/S. Pogosyan 
I A. Mushegyan/B. Akopyan 
Completed 1984 

Private Villa. Pamu (Estonia) 

Architect: Toomas Rein 
Completed 1984 

Belexpo Exhibition Center. Minsk (Belarus) 

Architect: Leonard Moskalevich 
Completed 1984 

Druzhba (“Friendship”) Sanitorium. Yalta (Ukraine) 
Architect: Igor Vasilevsky 
Completed 1984 



@ 

@ 




Wedding Palace. Tbilisi (Georgia) 

Architect: Victor Djorbenadze 
Completed 1985 

Memory Park (Crematorium). Kiev (Ukraine) 
Architect: G. Miletzky 
Completed 1985 

Indoor pool on a collective farm. Juknacie (Lithuania) 
Architect: Unknown 
Completed: 1986 circa 

Public Swimming Pool. Zventoie (Lithuania) 
Architect: Unknown 
Completed: 1987 circa 

Tbilisi Archeological Museum. Tbilisi (Georgia) 

Architect: Unknown 

Date of completion unknown 

Academy of Science. Moscow (Russia) 

Architect: Y. Platonov 
Completed 1988 

Danilovsky Market. Moscow (Russia) 

Structural engineer: Nodar Kancheli 
Date of completion unknown 

Lipki Scout Summer Camp. Moscow (Russia) 
Architects: Solopov/Tarasievija/Pontrjagin 
Completed 1988 




CCCP/COSMIC COMMUNIST 
CONSTRUCTIONS PHOTOGRAPHED 


PROJECTS LIST 

This publication is an accompaniment to CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions 
Photographed, an exhibition of the work of photographer Fr6d6ric Chaubin on view at 
Storefront for Art and Architecture from 24 April to 26 May 2007. 
Collected on the following pages is a selection of the articles originally published by 
the Russian architecture magazine Arkhitektura SSSR between 1970 and 1990 on some 
of die buildings featured in the exhibition, with their English translations. 



© 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The exhibition CCCP was made possible through the generous support of DatesWeiser 
This catalogue was funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. 
Special thanks to Anna Bronovitskaja and to Avery Library at Columbia University. 

ABOUT STOREFRONT 

Since 1982 Storefront has presented the work of more than a thousand architects and artists who challenge 
conventional perceptions of space, from aesthetic experiments to explorations of the conceptual, social and 
political forces that shape the built environment. Storefront creates an open forum to help architects and artists 
realize work and present it to a diverse audience in a program that includes 
an exhibition, film, publication and conversation series. 

COPYRIGHT 

All articles in this publication © Arkhitektura SSSR. Every attempt has been made to obtain permission for 
reproduction from the authors/owners of copyright. Whenever this has not been possible, authors/owners are 

requested to contact Storefront for Art and Architecture. New York. 


Storefront for Art 
and Architecture 

97 KENMARE STREET NEW YORK NY 10012 TEL 212431 5795 

ieww.storefrontnaes.org 





ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, JANUARY 1986 
BUILDING OF THE MINISTRY OF HIGH¬ 
WAYS OF THE GEORGIAN SOVIET SO¬ 
CIALIST REPUBLIC 


Tbilisi, 1977 

Architects: G. Chakhava, Z. Dzhalaganya, en¬ 
gineers T. Tkhilava, A. Kimberg 










TeopruM HaxaBa 

«ApxHTeKTypHbie TBopeHMn flon>«Hbi noflMepKMBaib 
h ycnriMBaTb BocnpHnTHe KpacoTbi naHfltijatpTa» 


3acnymeHHbiH apxHTeKTop rpy 3 hhckoh CCP TeoprHH BapnaMOBHM HaxaBa npw- 
HdflnewMT k KdTeropHN ntoflen, o ochobc tbopmcckom fle«TcnbHocTM KOTOpbix ne>KMT 
nocTOHMHbiM noMCK HOBoro. B 1958 r. moaoaoh apxHTeKTop oahhm H3 ncpabix b 
CT paHe npcAnaraet npocKT mMnoro A OMa H3 6noK-KOMHar. B 1976 r. cflaeTcs b mcc- 
nnyaTaAHio SAanwe MMHHCTepcTBa aaTOMo6HnbHbix Aopor, oTMeMCHMoe npcMnen 
CoocTa Mhhhctpob CCCP. (Iohtm 30 neT r. HaxaBa pa6oTaeT b cMCTeMe bbtomo6mih»- 


Hbix flopor, 
MHHMCTpa. P. 

CBoeoOpasMe 
eM TBopneci 
r. HaxasoM h, 


CREATIVE WORKSHOP 


Georgy V. Chakhava, honoured architect of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, is a 
who is always looking for new ways to express and explore his own creativity. In 1958, as a 
architect, he was one of the first in the country to propose a new design for houses consis 
single room units. In 1975, the building of the Ministry of Highways was completed, and received 
an award from the Council for Ministers of the USSR. G. Chakhava has worked at the Ministry 


m 

to 



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for Highways for almost 30 years and has passed all the way from designer and up to the Deputy 
Minister. Peculiarities of G. Chakhava designs are surely greatly influenced by rugged Georgian 
relief, since he always longed to take into consideration and reflect in his masterpieces the condi¬ 
tions set by nature. Below we publish an interview with G. Chakhava. 


ISyK, naypeaia npe m mm Co- 
CTpoa CCCP A. H. CnaBMM- 

OpblM npMBMn MHC MyBCTBO 
HOCTM 3 a KOHCTPVKUHH. Hp 



Q.: Quoting A.N. Gertsen, who once said that 
“nature can’t thwart humans provided that hu¬ 
mans do not thwart its laws”, we often wonder: 
how will nature thwart modem humans who 
create such large urbanized environments and 
frequently violate its laws? 

A.: Thousands of years ago, scientists came to 
the conclusion that life is the result of a balance 
between two extremes, and that life itself is a 
continuous process of establishing an equilib¬ 
rium. Our living environment is rather delicate, 
and disturbance of its balance may result in vi¬ 
olation of biogeochemical conditions required 
for the birth, development and existence of liv¬ 
ing beings. I always try to keep in mind that 
humans often intrude into environment without 
any form of scrupulous study or analysis, and. 
in most cases, are punished for such attempts. 
As a result, various types of plants and animals 
disappear at a quick pace; some of them disap¬ 
pearing so quickly that ecological balance on 
the Earth is in danger. This process has sped 
up recently. 

Q.: Considering this critical situation, the ques¬ 
tion is: what is the purpose of the architect? 
May he/she somehow influence and improve 
the situation? 

A.: I think that this is the civic duty of the ar¬ 
chitect. One should not evaluate a design bas¬ 
ing oneself solely on its constructional aspects. 
I really do not think we should occupy and con¬ 
struct in flat country rich in vegetation, while 
in the neighborhood there are bare slopes or 
inanimate rocks without any constructions on 
them. I suppose we should revise our attitude 
to hills, ravines, and rivers, which are often 
deemed to be an obstacle for construction. In 
my opinion, the rugged topography of Tbilisi 
is its real treasure. 

That was our guiding principle when we were 
working on the design for the building of the 
Ministry of Highways of Georgian Soviet So¬ 
cialist Republic (designed in collaboration 
with the architect Z. Dzhalaganya, engineers T. 
Tkhilava and A. Kimberg). The building was 
constructed in 1975 in Tbilisi between two 
highways located at two different levels with 
an altitude difference of 33 meters. It was an 
unbuilt area for a long time (along with many 
other similar areas in our city) due to the in¬ 
hospitable topography. Using a construction 
method leased on the application of tower sup¬ 
ports allowed the erection of a building raised 
over the ground surface, which considerably 
reduced the construction area. It also helped to 
provide additional recreation areas and ensure 
free transport traffic under the building. This 
solution helped to make nature closer to people 
working in the building. Its transparent struc¬ 
tural design does not prevent them from admir¬ 


ing the landscape, offering a perspective that 
reveals green terraces and porches. 

Our team came up against the problem of 
mastering rugged areas in 1960 when we de¬ 
veloped a design for a bus terminal in Yalta, 

15 years before construction of the building of 
the Ministry of Highways. I remember many 
specialists saying that the area was unsuitable 
for this construction. However, the bus termi¬ 
nal was built, and this altitude difference has 
become its key architectural feature. On the 
banks of the Bystraya river, in rather constraint 
environment, we have erected a highway junc¬ 
tion spread over a number of levels. Altitude 
difference helped to separate areas devoted 
to long-distance and city transportation. The 
mountain river was included in the interior of 
the bus terminal building and became an inte¬ 
gral part of its architecture. 

Q.: Mr. Chakhava, you are an author of an ex¬ 
traordinary variety of architectural designs: 
houses built out of room-units, and a variety of 
shell-shaped, solid, built-up and pre-tensioned 
constructions. You have many inventor’s cer¬ 
tificates. Could you please tell us about them 
in more detail? 

A.: In my professional formation, I was lucky 
to work under direction of the well-known 
engineer, Doctor of Science, laureate of the 
award of the Council of Ministers of USSR. 
A.N. Slavinsky. He was a person who instilled 
in me the feeling of responsibility for the con¬ 
structions. However, each time one designs an 
object, one should take into consideration not 
only the aesthetic and constructional qualities 
you mention, but also, of course, the econom¬ 
ic aspects of the project. So, for example, the 
building of the Ministry of Highways occupies 
a total area of 450 sq. meters (60 thousand cu¬ 
bic meters). If we used a traditional approach, 
the building would have 38 storeys instead of 
17; and by reducing the amount of storeys we 
would have to increase the total area from 450 
sq. meters up to over 1400 sq. meters, i.e. a 
threefold increase. 

Q.: Could you tell us, please, how you manage 
to combine you creative activities with func¬ 
tions of the Deputy Ministry of Highways of 
the Republic. 

A.: My design activities are mostly carried out 
during my leisure time, i.e. in the e vening, on Sat¬ 
urdays and Sundays. This, of course, is not very 
easy, especially taking into account that almost 
all the buildings I have designed were erected 
under my direction. But the specific nature of my 
work helps me in making decisions on architec¬ 
tural and artistic development of Georgian roads, 
since I travel a lot and carefully study the loca¬ 
tion where the construction is built. 


Q.: Mr. Chakhava, your projects show your as¬ 
piration for emphasizing the beauty of neigh¬ 
bouring landscape. How do you manage to 
achieve it? 

A.: During the design phase, almost one third 
of my working time is taken up selecting and 
studying the site. My key ally is the topogra¬ 
phy of the area. It is the topography that in¬ 
spires the variety of forms and shapes I build. 
And, of course, the extensive tradition of 
Georgian architecture, showing wise usage of 
the topography in every architectural solution. 
While selecting an area for the memorial in 
honour of the 200th anniversary of the Geor¬ 
gian treaty to be erected on the 200-kilome¬ 
ter highway Tbilisi - Ordzhonikidze, I found 
the best solution and proposed to locate it at 
the Krestovsky pass of the Military-Georgian 
road. The job was not easy at all. We had to get 
incorporated into the magnificent panorama of 
the Caucasian mountains, select an appropriate 
shape and scale, and not to disturb the beauty 
of the nature. 

Q.: And finally, what are you working on 
now? 

A.: I am preparing drawings for a 27-storey 
house with solar heating. Taking into account 
the energy crisis, I think that it is very important 
to use solar energy for residential heating. The 
house will be made of reinforced concrete, and 
on it has a shape of clover leaf with a single 
freestanding lift in the center. By dividing the 
house into sections, we may build it on steep 
slopes at different levels. Sections of the house 
are connected to the lift by means of passages 
wherewe plan to locate hanging gardens. And, 
of course, I am working on improvement of 
touristic routes within our Republic. 

Besides, I am very concerned about the fact 
that modem construction mainly uses rein¬ 
forced concrete as a material, in which metal 
is embedded forever. As long as the houses get 
older, they are demolished, and the metal is 
thrown away with concrete. Therefore, metal 
is used for 40-60 years, along with a build¬ 
ing, while it could serve for hundreds of years. 
Nowadays, when we face reduction of iron ore 
resources, and the metal becomes more and 
more precious and scarce, I think that such 
waste of material is inadmissible. 

Looking towards the future, I think we should 
look for the ways to construct houses from 
concrete and steel, using steel as reinforce¬ 
ment that can be easily separated from con¬ 
crete when the buildings are to be demolished. 
This could also offer the potential to exceed 
the performance of traditional reinforced con¬ 
crete. 

Interview by T. Chichua 











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TBmamcm, 19JB r. 

A p I M TCKTOp r. Maim, npoeur 

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mot a/in c/iymMT nenoBeKy 40—60 neT. 
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3A«MMO MMHNCTepCTBA MIOMO 
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CCP. TSmbmcm, 1977 r. 

ApxMTttMTopu r. Haxana, 3. A**"- 
nar«HH», KOHcrpyKtopw T. Txnna- 
aa, A. KNMSepr 



Top left: Housing consisting of room units. Building of the Ministry of Highways of the 

Tbilisi, 1958. Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Tbilisi, 1977. 

Right: Bus terminal, Yalta, 1966. Architects: G. Chakhava, Z. Dzhalaganya, engineers 

T. Tkhilava, A. Kimberg 


a 




































































































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Top: Garden home and autopavilion, 
constructed of reinforced concrete 
multi-purpose components. 

Architect: G. Chakhava. (author’s cer¬ 
tificate No. 831936) 

















































®§|g|B!gjgSp| 


Top: Autopavilion, constructed of reinforced cement 
constructions on Black Sea coast, 1978. 

Architects: G. Chakhava. I. Vinnashvili. 
Autopavilion on Black See coast, 1979. 

Architect: G. Chakhava. 












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3. 




Top: tourist hotel on Krestovsky Pereval, Voenno- 
Gruzinskaya Doroga. 

Design Architects: G. Chakhava, Z. Djalaganiya 
Georgian dukhan on Voenno-Gruzinskaya Doroga. 
Building of the Ministry of highways of the Geor¬ 
gian Soviet Socialist Republic, Tbilisi, 1977. 





















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Building of the Ministry of Highways of the 
Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Tbilisi, 1977. 
(Section and General layout) 


left: apartment houses mounted on tower piers, 
isi. Design 1959. Architects: G. Chakhava. Z. 
aganiya. 

right: panoramic monument celebrating 200 
s of Georgian and Russian reunification, built on 
stovsky Pereval. Design 1983. 































































































































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15 CM, KO/ibiACBbie crenbi to/uummom 
30 cm; 




ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, JANUARY 1986 
DRUZHBA SANATORIUM. YALTA, UKRAINE 

Created by: architects I. Vasilevskiy, Yu. Stefanchuk, 

V. Divnov, L. Kesler engineers N. Kancheli, B. Gu¬ 
rievich, Ye. Vladimirov, Ye. Ruzyakov, Ye. Kim, V. 
Malts, V. Gansgorye, Ye. Fedorova, health resort proj¬ 
ect, 1980 - 1985 capacity 400 people structural volume 
54.23 thousand m 3 total area 11.5 thousand m 2 


Pension house "Druzhba” is the first union 
health center in our country, built as part of 
a program of experimental building together 
with Czech unions. The compact, round-shaped 
building is located in Crimea, in the area of the 
Golden beach on a steep, shore-side slope, prac¬ 
tically unusable for traditional means of con¬ 
struction. In order to maximally preserve the 
terrain and the existing vegetation, the building 











is as a single, compact creation, erected above 
ground on three supporting towers with a mini¬ 
mal area of soil bearing. Elevators, stairs and 
communication lines are located in the towers. 
The object’s compositional foundation is the 
central multi-light space (atrium), which holds 
public spaces: movie/concert hall with a foyer, 
cafe, areas for dancing, pool room, therapeutic 
gym and swimming pool. 


In terms of functions, all spaces are divided to 
two groups: first - spaces, carrying the load dur¬ 
ing the daylight and oriented externally, at the 
surrounding nature (sleeping area, swimming 
pool, dining room, and hallway); the second 
group consist of spaces functioning at night. 
They are unified by a multi-light space (atrium) 
with open yards, containing cultural and public 
spaces in the center of the pension house. 


Based on the conditions of the terrain, the re¬ 
ception area with the main entry to the pension 
house is located at the level of the operational 
roof of the sleeping section. An additional rec¬ 
reation zone was made here, with the view of 
the Great Yalta area. For the first time, heat¬ 
ing, air conditioning and water provisioning 
was resolved using the sea’s thermal energy as 
a natural, free resource. 









o 


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H. KAHHEilH 

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TOpblX apXMTeKTOpOB 6 blTy©T MHeHH©: 

— TBOpeiA, MTO M KAK A©P>HMTCB — 
H© MO© AeAO, KOHCtpyKTOp — POMCC- 



An architect of the past centuries was an engineer, 
builder and architect all in one. Today, the spe¬ 
cialization of the engineering process has subdi¬ 
vided this once unified process into components, 
but the result of the work remained the same. We 
should remember that the creation of a real work 
of architectural art is only possible with combined 
architecturally-functional and constructive logic. 
Unfortunately, today’s situation is basically this; 
some architects have the opinion: “I am a creator. 


how things are held together is not my business, 
the engineer is the craftsman who must turn my 
creation into substance. On the other hand, many 
engineers believe that the aesthetics and function 
of the building is not their business and if they 
were successful in including more stiffening ele¬ 
ments into the building, they are happy. The ar¬ 
chitect must in part be an engineer, and the engi¬ 
neer must be in part an architect. 

Several decades ago, prefabricated construction 


started to develop in the USSR, due to a sharp 
increase of capital building. Work productiv¬ 
ity grew quickly, and a powerful new form of 
building emerged. However, this process had 
downsides as well: the inertia of the precast 
concrete industry caused serious limitations 
during design; unified construction was di¬ 
vided into phases, which affected productivity, 
and the assembly time on the construction site 
can be complex and time consuming. Today, 










neMMMK, o6a JBHHblM BOnflOTMTb MOC 

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nonbayioinMe bo3mo>kmoctm MaTepwa- 


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TaTb COBMCCTHO. 

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KdK «Apy>«6a», MOr 803HMKHyTb TOHb- 
KO npn MCnO/lb 30BBHMM KOMnbKJTCpa. 

fl Me OTpMUaiO AOCTOMMCTB TpaAM- 
l^MOHHblX c6opHblX CMCTew M pdUMO- 
nanbHOCTM mx npMMeHeMMA. oambko 
A anbHeMiuee pe3Koe yMeMbiueMMe ma- 
TepMa/ioeMKOCTM a BMwy «e b obm/im- 

3blBdHMM» M3BeCTHb.X nilOCKOCTHb.X 



methods of industrial, monolithic building are 
developing in the entire world. They do not re¬ 
quire a powerful industry of precast concrete; 
they allow the implementation of almost every 
wish wish of the engineer; overall expenses 
decrease; and most importantly, unified, spa¬ 
tial constructions may be created which maxi¬ 
mise the possibilities of the material in creat¬ 
ing daring, unusual designs. The dimensional 
constraints of buildings disappear, allowing the 


overlying constructions to aspire to being more 
tham a simple mask for the underlying struc¬ 
ture. They can start working together. 

The currently existing power computers allow 
for calculation of complex spatial systems, 
which was completely impossible before. 
Buildings such as "Druzhba” could be created 
only using a computer. I do not deny the ben¬ 
efits of traditional building systems and their 


logic; however, I foresee that a further decrease 
in material consumption will be achieved not 
by refining well-known drafting systems but 
by creating new spatial constructions that call 
upon the common work of building elements. 

V. GANSGORYE 

Health centers are usually located in the more 
unique locations of our country, and the area 
of Golden beach in Crimea where the pension 





















CM 


cmc tom, a b co3fla»HM HOBbix npo- 

CTpAHCTBeHHblX KOHCTpyKl^MM, BOflnC- 

kakhuhx a cOBMecTHyto pa6oTy np.m- 
tmmockm ace jneMeMTbi coopyweMna. 

B TAHCTOPbE 


3ApdBMMi4bi, Max npaBH/io, pacnona- 
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«A pyn<6a>*, as/iaeTca mcctom, ooao6- 
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MMpe. Ana takmx mcct xpaHHe newe- 
narenbHO npuMeMCMHo KOTC/ibHbix, 
3arpa3Ha»ou4Hx cbommh 8bi6pocaMM 
OKpyMAtoiuyio cpeAy- 

Hfle* rennoeoro hacoca, npeo 6 pa- 




— 


house “Druhzba” is built is a place which will 
not find many equals in the world. It is highly 
undesirable for such places to use boiler houses, 
polluting the environment with their waste. The 
idea of a thermal pump that transforms a low- 
temperature heat into high-temperature energy 
source has been known for a long time, but its 
implementation as part of a large Soviet con¬ 
struction is not known to me. 

The thermal pump (TP), created together with 


the specialists of the VNIPI [All-Russia Insti¬ 
tute of Research and Engineering ], is a refrig¬ 
erator in reverse, which consists of three basic 
elements: evaporator, compressor and con¬ 
denser. Sea water is supplied into the evapora¬ 
tor TP, gives off heat, cooling down by 2-4° C 
and returns back to sea. Cold water is supplied 
through the condenser TP, heated in it and is 
used for heating. During the summer, TP also 
produces cooling air. 


The conditions for building a thermal pump sta¬ 
tion in this project were successfully obtained: 
the necessity of building a sea water barrier, an 
expensive and complex creation, for the swim¬ 
ming pools; the necessity of building a cool¬ 
ing station for pension house air conditioning 
systems; and building a central heating point. 
Swimming pools in health centers on sea wa¬ 
ter have a flow-through design and use a large 
amount of heat (25-30% of heat consumption). 
















1 




CO 


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hom o6opyAoaaHMM mhc HeM3aecTHa. 

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cobmcctho co cneunaAMCTaMM MHCTH- 
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ab, KOMnpeccopa m KOHA©ncaTOpa. 
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ckom aoAbi MopcKoro BOA03a6opa — 
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ro coopyweHMa; 

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i^HOHHpoaaHHB naHCHOHdia; 

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BOJBpatHO 6 oAbLUOe KOAMMOCTBO TCfl- 
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cTanuHM, KOTopaa o 6 ecneMWAa 3 Apaa- 
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c 6 pocHbi x boa m anncanacb a OKpy- 

HtaiOmMM AaHALUa(J)T. 


MaTepHaA noAroTOBMA C. HYPAKOB 















mAHOPAMA 


> V v 



OBLUECTBEHHO-TOPrOBbIPl UEHTP, 
XAPbKOB 



Aaiopwi: dpimeKTopbi A. Bohkob; 

E. 3 dMcpeu 

KHweHcp fl rann'i 
XdpbHOanpocKi 

npoeKTMpo«aHHe 1974—1975 rr. 
opoHTenbc i bo 1976—1981 rr. 

UfiHTp JdnpOCKTMpOBdH MB KpyrOM pCflb- 

e<J>e,— nepenaA Bbicor n npe/\ena* yqa- 
c T«a cocraenucT 11 m. KoMnneKc yqpem- 
rtCMMH, axoAfliUHx b cocras ueHTpa, pas- 
6ht Ha rpH spyca-reppacbi, KdWAia H3 
Koropbix jdKaHMMBaeicx noAieMHWM rpy- 
losbiM AsopoM. Kpoanfl — axcnnyaiMpy- 
CMa* m cnymHT Afl» hoaxoas noceTMreneM 
b BbiujenoHdiMM'-i spyc. Bee rpy 30 Bbie 

ABOpbi o6bCAMHeHbi nonynoA3eMMbiM 

■vesAOM. 

CTpOMTenbHbiM o 6 beM 51 875 m' 
o 6 ma« nnounaAb 12 001,5 m 2 



1 


yME&HO-JIA&OPATOPHbIM KOPnyc 
BE^OPyCCKOrO flO/lMTEXHHHECKOrO 
MHCTHTyTA 
AeTopbi: 

apxHTeKTOpbi B Ahmkhm, M. EcbMan; 
MHMewepbi B. /leanH, /X • 51hko 

MHMCKnpoeKT 

npoeKt 1971 —1975 rr. 
ctpoMTenbCTBO 1975—1983 rr. 

yqe6Mo-na6opdTopMbiM KOpnyc CTpow- 
TenbHoro (paKynbieTa oxoamt b coctcjo 
KOMnnexca (paKynbTeroB ctponrenbHbix 
cneuManbMOCTCH Be/iopyccKoro nonnTex- 
HMHeCKOrO MMCTMTyTa, CTpOMTCflbCTBO M 
AanbMCHuiee pa3entne KOTopbix peuieno 
na yqacTKe b ceeepo-eocTOMMOM *iacTH 
ropoAa Mhhck 8, Ha MecTe rnaanoro 
BbC3Ad B rOpOA CO CTOpOMbl MOCKOBCKO- 
ro HanpasneHMu. yqe6HbiM KOMnnexc 
paccMMTan Ha 9650 ctyACHtoe ahcbmom, 
BeqepneH m 3aoMHOH (f>opMbi o6yMeHMx 
no 18 cneunanbHOCTBM. K MaaoniucMy 
BpCMCMM nocTpoeHbi yqe6MO-na6opdTOp- 
hwm KOpnyc, o6ine>KMTMe Ana CTyAemoB 

m acnMpaMTOB wa 1121 Mecro m CTyACMse* 
CKdn cronoBdB Ha 800 nocaAOMHbix Meet. 
Ka« HOBHHKd B npdKTMKe npOCKTMpOBd- 
hmB 3A«hmh By 30 B aab BepTMKanbHoro 
nepeMeiMenMB Maccosbix noTOKOB CTy- 
achtob npeAycMOTpewbi nojrawwbie 
>CKanaTopbi Hmjkhmc TpM 3ta>*<d 3anpo- 
eKTMpoBdHbi b BMAe wenesoBeTOHHbix 
paM c npMMenCHMeM e KanecTBc Hacrnna 
c6opHbix MHoronyooTHbix nn«T. 

o6kCM KOpnyca 140 150 m 1 
o6iua« nnomdAb KOpnyca 26 155 m 2 


MMHHHHSnMMMm 




ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, MAY 1984 
EDUCATIONAL/LABORATORY PAVILION 
OF THE BYELORUSSIAN POLITECHNIC 
INSTITUTE 

Designed by architects V. Anikin, I. Yesman; 
engineers V. Levin, D. Yanko 
designed 1971-1975, built 1975-1983 

















































































The Teaching Building of the Construction De¬ 
partment is the latest addition to the Bielorus- 
sian Polytechnic Institute’s teaching facilities. 
The building is located in an area in Minsk’s 
north-east section, on the site of the main en¬ 
try into the city from the direction of Moscow. 
The building is designed for 9650 students in 
18 professions and caters for day, night and 
distance learning. So far, the study building. 


the dormitory for 1121 students and graduate 
students and a student cafeteria with 800 seats 
have been built. Escalators have been provided 
throughout the building for vertical movement 
of large numbers of students. The three bottom 
floors are designed as concrete frames using 
hollow-core planks. 

Structural volume 140 150 m 3 
Total area 26 155 m 2 


HAHOPAMA 












































































o 


flBOpei^ TOpmeCTB B T 6 nnHCM 


ApXMTCKTOpbi: B. 4>«Op6eHdA3e, 

3. MxepBA/iHUJBHnH, B. Op6enaA3e. 
kiMmenepbi: 1\ flMuxenaypH, P. raneMM- 
naflae. 

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npMRTMR. Oh ctomt HecKo/ibKo oco6- 
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<anoa OTBeACH fin* npoaeAeHMB 30- 
noTbix m cepe6p«Hbix caaAe6, b xo- 
ropbix yMacTayKJT TpyAOBbie xonnex- 

T MB bl, M 3TM pMTya/lbl CTd/lM BdWMblM 
CpeACTBOM BOCnMTaHMR MOHOAeWM. 






ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, NOV. 1987 
CEREMONIAL PALACE IN TBILISI 

Architects: V. Dzhorbenadze, E. Mkervalish- 
vili, V. Orbeladze 

Enginners: G. Pizhelauri, R. Gachechipadze. 
Artists: Z. Nizharadze, G. Dzhaparidze, N. 
Lordkipanidze 
















B eflMHbiw o6beM cKOMnoHOBBMbi 
HOMMMO pmy.wibMbix noMomen mm a*C- 
KoreKd, MaraaMHbi kh Mr m noflapKoo, 
pa 3 HOo 6 pa 3 Mbie npeflnpM«TM» 06114®- 
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CO 3 A 0 H 0 6 naroAapHd« cpe/4d Ann 

BCtpOM, KOHTdKTOB, IHdKOMCTB, TdM- 

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Mero eenepa. 

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necTHMMHbix MapujeM, a tbkmo useT 


The ceremonial palace takes up an advanta¬ 
geous and important section on one of the top 
points above the Kura valley. In this capacity, it 
became an active city-forming factor, and can 
be seen from almost any part of Tbilisi. It pro¬ 
vides height orientation at the east entry to the 
city’s historical center. There are views of the 
city and the river from the styled terraces and 
the main entry. A complete development of the 
large area of the city and other city improve¬ 
ment measure were taken due to the creation of 
the ceremonial palace. It stands somewhat indi¬ 
vidually, but at the same time it is organically 
connected with the landscape. 

The building has a complex and complete and 
rational spatial structure which reflects the 
complexity and the multiplicity of the palace’s 
functions. It is not designed only as a wedding 
palace. It is a place of celebratory ceremonies 
and anniversaries of the older generation and a 
place for youth. Thus, one of the grandest halls 
is designed for golden and silver anniversaries, 
which have become an important means of edu¬ 
cating the youth. 

Aside ceremonial rooms, there is a disco, book 
and gift stores, food courts, lecture halls, con¬ 
sultation rooms, fashion and movie halls. A 
comfortable environment for meetings, danc¬ 
ing, concerts, youth evenings has been created 
here. It is thought that with time, this function 
of the palace will naturally develop. Even now, 
the spaces of the building are never empty. 

An especially important emotional role in the 
building’s structure is played by the spatial 
solution, based on the carefully developed 
ceremony scenario. The leading creator of the 
palace V. Dzhorbenadze thinks that “the direc¬ 
tion was done by the hand that tried and wore 
the building as a glove”. At the same time, the 
ceremony gives the internal organization of the 
buildings a great theatre quality, close to the 
Georgian national character, traditional rituals 
and habits. 

The complex design of the space is vertical. In¬ 
side of the large space, different levels follow 
one another, connected by beautiful stairwells, 
leading to the culmination of the ceremony. The 
spaces have different heights, open construction 
of planchers (in the main hall the traditional 
“darbazi”, even though made of metal). 

The configuration, sizes and proportions of 
individual spaces are often contrasting, which 
underlines the functional and compositional 
meaning of the main halls. Smaller areas open 
into large, dominating spaces through wide, 
decorated overtures. 

The richness of the spatial solution is visually 
accented by the large openings in the planchers 
spaced one above the other, which let natural 


light into the lowest levels of the building, and 
the top opening in the main hall is a symbolic 
marble well - the source of life and wisdom. 

The building plan, elegantly drawn, distantly 
evokes the human heart. Many spaces of the in¬ 
terior have the shape of an escargot or a spiral, 
creating unusual views and warmth and com¬ 
fort. Interpenetration of the spaces does not get 
in the way of individuality and isolation of indi¬ 
vidual functional areas. The symmetry of large 
masses and spaces is intricately combined with 
the asymmetry, giving movement and mastery 
to the interiors. 

Undoubted success of the creators is the laconic 
and eloquent solution of the facades. The wall 
dominance, traditional for the East, is connect¬ 
ed with the large openings and elegance of a 
metal dentellerie in the area of the main entry. 
The walls are covered by a white natural stone, 
slowly attaining a warm shade. “So-called con¬ 
temporary architecture lost such basic qualities 
as weight, surety, stability,” says V. Dzhorbena¬ 
dze, “In this design, I wanted to re-establish the 
intangibility, monumentality and on the other 
hand the surpassing of weight, which pre-deter- 
mined the design’s verticality on the whole”. 

The outline of the facade is full of symbols. 
Continuity, extension and unevenness at the 
same time, correspond to eternity and the com¬ 
plexity of life itself. Consecutively, there is a 
principle of pairing - objective existence and 
connection for an establishment of a new life of 
two being, while keeping their autonomy and 
equal value. 

There is a sculpture in front of the main entry, 
reminding of the antique statue of Dionysius, 
which was found on the territory of Georgia in 
the course of archeological works. 

An important role in the fa?ade and interior 
composition is played by light. The colors ap¬ 
plied by the designer may be divided into ar¬ 
chitectural and artistic. The first group includes 
the colors of doors, brass holders, balusters, 
column basis, most active and intricately found 
color of floors, parapets and stairwells, as well 
as the color of furniture, curtains and lights. The 
second group includes colorful stained-glass 
window, reflecting onto floors and walls, and 
a fresco by Zurab Nizharadze which provides 
a background for weddings. Together with the 
side frescos, it distinguishes the main hall. 

The palace’s emotional harmony effectively in¬ 
cludes lighting and music (bells, folk singing, 
an organ is planned in the main hall). 

The large and complex building naturally has 
some shortcomings. The number of secondary 
entries seems exaggerated, although, it does 


serve the flexibility of building use; relation¬ 
ships of some spaces are unclear; the location 
of the windows far away from the floor does not 
always make sense; placement and configura¬ 
tion of openings on facades is not always con¬ 
vincing; the desire to “cleanse” the form lead 
to functionally unexplained refusal of metals in 
the window sills... But the undeniable advan¬ 
tage of the palace is its colorful individuality, 
predetermined by the personality of the main 
architect in many ways. 

Viktor Nikolaevich Dzhorbenadze turned 60 
years old in the year the palace was completed. 
He is a real patriot of Georgia and Tbilisi. His 
professional development comprised of the in¬ 
terest for the history of Georgia’s architecture 
(his research of “tetrakonh” churches such as 
Dzhvari is known), collecting Georgian folk 
art and the attention towards modem processes 
in architecture. His life, character, art naturally 
combines national and international, traditions 
and modernity, knowledge of technology and 
love of hand crafts. 

Amongst his projects was the vocational school 
in Tbilisi, where one of the first attempts to tac¬ 
tically introduce a new building into the already 
formed city environment in Soviet architecture 
was made. The flatness of the fa$ade of his 
hotel in Oni is dissected by an elegant case of 
balconies with see-through barriers, bringing 
together a large contemporary building with an 
old one. In the memorial complex on the Mu- 
hatgverdi cemetery on the outskirts of Tbilisi, 
Dzhorbenadze searched for not only a memo¬ 
rable monumental form, but also for new means 
of recreating the memory of history , thus, the 
main ceremonial hall has a view of the Dzhvari 
church seen faraway in the valley. The museum 
of I. Chavchavadze in Kvarel is monumental 
and dynamic, intricately placed into the histori¬ 
cal surroundings. All these creations combine 
laconism, limited selection of form, contained 
plasticity, high taste, attention to detail. 


In the practice of architectural organizations, 
the personality, individual abilities and artistic 
requirements of the architect are often neglect¬ 
ed. Fortunately, Tbilisi city project was able to 
create special (not at all financial) possibilities 
for such a vivid and original personality as Vik¬ 
tor Dzhorbenadze. Perhaps it was the Georgian 
traditional openness and attentiveness to a per¬ 
son which came through. For seven years, he 
practically lived on the construction site, was 
able to convince and captivate the builders, art¬ 
ists and city and republic leaders, who became 
true co-artists of the unusual and expressive 
palace, which became the result of this collec¬ 
tive and very hard work. It’s not by chance that 
about 250 builders signed their names on the 
palace’s facade. 















M 


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pac KpbtTOC ib, BHMMdHHe K Menooexy. 
CeMb net oh 6yxBa/)bHO >km/i Ha 





One of the lessons in creating the ceremonial 
palace - a reconfirmation of an old truth: a real 
work of architecture must be designer, but real 
designing requires the whole designer - his tal¬ 
ent, intellect, experience, mastery, all of life. 

Tbilisi has many wonderful administrative 


and public buildings, but the large and beau¬ 
tiful city also needs representative buildings 
for more common purposes and construc¬ 
tions which are unusual, not standard, and 
individual in their solution, adequate with the 
national character, which attracted such wide 
and active public interest to the regeneration 


of the historical center build-up (not necessar¬ 
ily copying its historical style). In general, one 
can thing that a city may have a complete set 
of gyms in accordance to standards, universi¬ 
ties, restaurants, but in order to provide its in¬ 
dividuality, there should be at least one build¬ 
ing which may become its emblem, similar to 





















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CO 





the Eiffel Tower in Paris (the Council Palace 
in Moscow was designed with precisely this 
purpose). Probably, the best is when such em¬ 
blem-building is the building of the commu¬ 
nist party and soviet organizations, but in real¬ 
ity, this role may be played by any building, 
regardless of its functional purpose, but large, 


visible in the landscape and striking in form. 
Perhaps the Ceremonial palace in Tbilisi will 
become such a building. 

V. Dzhorbenadze felt the need of his native city 
for romantic architecture - “city celebration 
and for the city” as described the Ceremonial 


palace by Professor A. Ikonnikov - and tried 
to create such architecture. Thus, judgment of 
such buildings should come from the under¬ 
standing of the appropriateness of its creation, 
with consideration of its design and not trying 
to compare it to the rules of ordinary, “prosa¬ 
ic” architecture. 











ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, FEBRUARY 1984 
ZVARTNOTS AIRPORT IN YEREVAN, 
ARMENIA 

By: architects A. Tarkhanyan, S. Khachikyan, 
L. Cherkezin, Zh. Shekhlyan 
Partners: architects A. Tigranyan. A. Meschai 
Builders: S, Bagdasaryan, G. Gevorkyan, Yu. 
Kachatryan, E. Indzhikyan, I. Tsaturyan. 
















IIman docruoicemix 

y;iK 725.39(479.25-20) 


AaponopT «3BapTHou» 
b EpeBaHe 

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A. MecMaii 

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TpaiicnopTOM iionaABKiT na BTopofi ypo- 
iirni* k MiiftpoBoKsaJiau, tab paaMpnp'iiw 





19 


Zvartnots airport is situated in the Ararat valley 
in the province of Yerevan-Echmiadzin. Its form 
was dictated by the surrounding environment 
and the desire of the architects to set the complex 
against the landscape of a valley with striking 
natural features, Mount Ararat and Mount Ara- 
gatz, which provide the backdrop for the build¬ 
ings. 

The airport building is in the shape of a truncated 


cone (or “chimney”) with a diameter of 200 me¬ 
tres with a tower overlooking the centre. Seven 
‘micro-terminals’ are located around the ring of 
buildings capable of handling 300 passengers 
per hour, 14 jetways for TU-154 aircraft or seven 
jetways for Airbus IL86 aircraft. Positioning the 
aircraft in a circle around the building increases 
the number of jetways and buildings while also 
ensuring flexibility in terms of parking other 


types of aircraft on the jetway apron. The apron is 
separated from the building by an anti-turbulence 
screen. Architecturally, this screen serves to link 
the apron to the rest of the terminal building. 
Within the terminal itself, passenger departures 
are decentralized while arrivals were centralized. 
Departing passengers use the elevated structure 
to descend to the second level of micro-termi¬ 
nals, where there are [...] 













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37 




ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, FEBRUARY 1977 
CIRCUS IN KAZAN, RUSSIA 

Awarded the USSR Soviet Ministers’ Prize. By: 
architects G. Pichuev, A. Tagantsiev; engineers 
E. Brudnyi, O. Berim 









- 


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CIRCUS ARCHITECTURE 

The opening of a new, permanent circus is 
a major cause for celebration in any city. Its 
hospitable nature makes everyone feel wel¬ 
come and draws the spectator to what is go¬ 
ing on in the ring. The circus is large, spherical 
and multi-faceted. This ‘living’ amphitheatre 
forms a whole with the diverse and interest¬ 
ing representation underneath the cupola and 
on the manege, provides many perspectives for 
viewing the architectural contour of the circus 
building. 

The modem architecture of our circus was 
preceded by a period of two centuries of west¬ 
ern European development, beginning with 
Astley’s amphitheatre in London and Fraconi’s 
circuses in France. 

The design and preparation of the shapes of the 
circus building, which correspond to trends in 
Soviet architecture, began at a time when a cer¬ 
tain stereotype for the functional form of the 
circus was already established. The ‘shapito’ 
of yesteryear, which was distinguished by ab¬ 
stract ornamentation, gradually mutated into a 


monumental building, which was rightly at the 
forefront of the city’s architectural ensemble. 
One of the first in the country was the Ivanovsky 
circus, well known both in Russia and abroad. 
Built in the shape of an enormous semi-circle, 
and a parallel ticketing hall with cylindrical 
semi-circular production unit, the circus was 
distinctive because of its simple shape and its 
artistic expressiveness. 

Designs for the shape of the building were gen¬ 
erally developed with morphogenous forms in 
mind and were inseparable from the search for 
a unique national identity and the development 
of local traditions and national motifs and sub¬ 
jects. 

The Tbilisi circus is an imposing sight, an 
enormous pyramid in its inimitable national 
colours. It almost seems to be a continuation of 
the mountains on which it stands. When han¬ 
dling the shape of the building, the distinctive 
features of the Georgian landscape served as 
a source of inspiration, with its demonstrative, 
tectonic forms creating a memorable shape. 
When erecting beautiful public buildings, So¬ 
viet architecture often looked to pre-existing 


shapes and styles, bygone historical eras and, 
above all, to the Renaissance period. A number 
of circus buildings were built in the Renais¬ 
sance style and, subsequently, in an eclectic 
style, for example in Izhevsk, Rostov-on-Don. 
Kiev and Minsk. 

Such ‘academic’ works were not architecture 
as such, but rather a sculpted representation of 
it. Soviet architecture rejected the figurative - 
it went further and shifted to the plasticity of 
multiple forms, materials, constructions, all 
governed by a single idea for achieving the de¬ 
sired emotional effect. This is particularly no¬ 
ticeable in the building of circus buildings over 
the past decade, when there have been signifi¬ 
cant attempts to resolve aesthetic issues, at a 
time when spatial constructions have begun 
to be adopted and new artistic forms were be¬ 
ing used in the creation of an expressive town 
planning complex, and these forms have come 
to dictate the ‘status’ of a building, defining 
not only its social and functional nature, but its 
place in the city ensemble. And only then will 
the circus building have imparted something of 
its own modem architecture. 


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ARKHITEKTURA SSSR, JULY 1982 
CENTER FOR WATER SPORTS IN TALLIN 
THE ARCHITECT’S CREATIVE LABORA¬ 
TORY 

The creators of the complex design: architects 
Kh. Looveer, A. Raid, Kh. Sepmani, I. Yanee; 
separate divisions: K. Looveer, A. Oruvee, I. 
Henson; interiors: V. Asi, Yu. Lambert, L. Laa- 
zar, A. Nadar, V. Tamm et al. 



10 






























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Paapea I — 1 



12 







First-floor level plan: 

1 - yacht club (services, referee, organizational committee) 

2 - regatta office 

3 - ship-house (yacht mooring) changing rooms 

4 - ship-house (post) changing rooms 

5 - repair workshops 

6 - press centre 

7 - ritual ceremonies 

8 - lodging quarters 






































































































Olympic village 

9 - entrance to Olympic village, restaurant, interclub 

10 - swimming pool 

11 - sport and medical centre 

12 - Olympic flame 

13 - ceremonial square 

14 - river harbour 

15 - sea harbour 

16 - DSO Kalev Yacht Club 

17 - Spectators’ area 

18 - car park 























































































































































J